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All About Jim

Ol' jabeJim Blankenship, CFP®, EA, is an independent, fee-only financial planner.  This blog is primarily dedicated to discussions and information on personal income tax, detailing many of the provisions of IRA and other retirement plan rules, as well as advice, thoughts, and recommendations with regard to pretty much anything financially-related.  In essence, everything you need to know about Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row!

Jim got his start in the personal finance arena by preparing personal income taxes for individuals, beginning in 1988.  He had worked in the financial services sector since 1985, mostly in the technology support departments of several corporations.

Late in the 1990’s, Jim was at a point in his life where he needed some financial advice.  He’d read the books and listened to the radio programs – enough to know that he needed to do more with his finances.  The problem was, there was no outlet for objective financial advice, tailored to his needs.  Being a do-it-yourselfer, Jim began a course of study through his workplace, which led to the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation, conferred by the American College.

Throughout the course of study Jim began to realize that not only did folks in similar positions to his need help with their income taxes, but that affordable, objective financial advice is typically not available to this group as well.  Either the provider of the advice is geared more toward a high net worth clientele (and priced as such!), or the focus of interaction with the provider of advice was based upon the sale of a product (which may or may not be needed).

cfp322-80Upon further research, Jim discovered that the Certified Financial Planner™ designation is the premier standard by which financial planners are gauged.  With his recently-acquired ChFC designation, Jim was eligible to sit for the CFP® exam, which he did in the fall of 2002.

Shortly thereafter, in January of 2003, Blankenship Financial Planning was launched.  Through the years since opening his doors, Jim has had the pleasure of meeting with folks from all around the world, working together to develop effective financial planning strategies tailored to each individual’s circumstances.

napfa_rfa2From the beginning, Jim decided that Fee-Only financial planning was the business model he would work from – where there are no products for sale, only objective financial advice, delivered from the point of view of a fiduciary, strictly in the best interest of the client.  This method of delivery of financial advice is a dramatic difference when compared to the “old line” sorts of financial advisors, where sales of a particular financial product, such as insurance, annuities, or mutual funds, is the primary focus.  In keeping with this commitment, Jim has been a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor (NAPFA stands for National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) since 2004.  NAPFA is the “Fee-Only” financial advisors’ network.

Through intensive study, Jim has become an expert in working with IRAs and other retirement plans, and much of this blog is dedicated to that subject.  In addition, Jim has taken the extra steps to become an Enrolled Agent, which means that he is enrolled to practice before the IRS.  Adding to these specialties, Jim is an expert in working with individuals and couples to develop Social Security filing strategies.  All of these services together provide Jim’s clients with a wealth of knowledge and experience as they work together.